To be on the safe side check that your cat is not obese for medical reasons and that it is safe to reduce weight.
Using a weight-loss diet provided by your veterinarian older cats should lose weight at no more than 1.5 percent of their initial body weight per week. Clearly it is advisable to stop feeding table scraps between meals. If you give treats the other food source should be reduced accordingly. Treats should be carefully considered as they are not alway suitable.
I’ll work out some numbers. If your cat weights 10 pounds, in ounces she weights 160 ounces. This is 4480 grams. One and a half percent of 160 ounces is 2.4 ounces or 67 grams. She should lose no more than 67 grams per week.
No doubt you will need accurate scales 🙂 . I think this is where veterinarians might come into play because they have accurate companion animal scales. Often cat guardians do not. Perhaps the best way to measure the process would be to initially take your cat to your vet once per fortnight for the first month to check the speed of weight loss. You can then adjust your feeding regime accordingly.
Alternatively you can buy baby or pet scales fairly cheaply but they might not be very accurate, perhaps +/- 10 grams. You’ll need reasonable accuracy to make the process work.
A high protein, low carbohydrate diet is probably recommended. Regular measured meals should be provided. Note the word ‘measured’. This means accurately controlling the amount. I know these are ideals. I also realise that a lot of people will be less than enthusiastic about all this precision.
When your cat has finished her meal she should wait for the next meal. Treats should be avoided. Check that your cat is not sourcing food from elsewhere. What about neighbours? A lot of cats share homes and their owners don’t realise it. Make a chart to monitor weight loss. Play with your cat to burn calories. L-caritine as a supplement may help to get weight down as it may increase lean body mass. Your vet should advise on this. About 300 grams per day may be suggested.
Once the target weight is achieved it is a matter of keeping it there with discipline 😉
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